Three words should be written down in any punter's notebook: EFFECTIVE MONEY STRATEGY. Frankly, without it, you are lost. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but eventually - no matter how many winners you might strike.

Effective money strategy means having a sense of purpose in your betting approach, getting your money management skills honed, securing value on your selections, trying to maximise your chance of long-term success, and so on.

We have stated many times before in this magazine that haphazard staking puts you on the road to nowhere. A firmly established strategy, be it level stakes or a multiple approach or a progressive plan, will at least offer you a better chance. 

The aim of this article is to toss over a few ideas about betting, just to sort of whet your appetite for the battle. To make you start thinking about a game plan and to sort out what approach is best for you.

Before deciding on a money strategy - which way you will bet - you should closely analyse your entire thinking about racing and selection. Punters who bet for a place have to shape a different approach from those who, say, pick longshots,, or like to select eachway bets. Then there are those who like to bet more than one horse in a race, and others who prefer to concentrate on the exotics. 

Let's have a think firstly about multiple-bet punters. Most serious multiple bettors among the professionals of today make a "book" against the bookmaker. They back a number of horses in a race; some go for the win on one or two runners and save on the dangers. Those who bet to win the same amount irrespective of which of their selections wins rarely bet more than "4/1 on' about their judgement being right.

That is, the percentages of their selections must not add up to more than 80 per cent. Most pro's seem to agree that an investment becomes a risk if there are more than four chances and all cannot be covered with a multiple bet.

One pro told me recently: "I think most punters would boost their chance of winning if they confined their betting to races in which there were four, or fewer than four, true contenders."

His approach is the following, which I call The Pro Multiple, and it is especially useful for those wanting to incorporate an eachway aspect to their betting.


  1. If there are, say, four chances, then each has three chances of running a place and one of missing a place. Deduct one from four. The answer is three, and you don't bet eachway any of the selections quoted at shorter than 3/1. 
  2. Should there be only three chances, then the lowest acceptable price would be 2/1, and so on. Let's say your four selections are 2/1, 4/1, 6/1 and 8/1 (total percentages 78). You bet the 2/1 chance for a win only, and back the other three eachway. That's a total outlay of 7 units. If your selections can run all the placings, you stand to make very good profits. 

Many readers have contacted me since I joined the team, seeking plans for eachway betting. With eachway, of course, you are using two stakes and, remember, the risk of a bank-wrecking losing sequence would be greatly reduced by using the same two stakes to back two horses for a win in a race, rather than betting eachway on just one. 

One eachway staking plan which can be used on sensible selections was introduced some 60 years ago by the late Rufe Naylor, a former bookie who turned pro punter and pro tipster. He advised his many clients to use the following approach.


  1. First bet is 1 unit eachway. After a loser, increase by a further half-unit eachway. After a placed horse, repeat the previous bet. After a winner, drop back a half unit. 
  2. When your stake is 3 units eachway or higher, drop back one full point after a winner. Example: A unit can be any amount. I will assume you are using $1 units. Your first bet would be $1 eachway and the result of that bet determines the amount to be placed on the following race. We will say that the opening five bets produced LOSER/ PLACEGETTER/ WINNER/ LOSER.

So, the $1 eachway on the first bet is lost. This now calls for a half unit (50c) increase in stake, so the 2nd bet would be $1.50 eachway. The horse runs a place, so the same bet is repeated for the third horse.

This time you strike a winner, so the fourth bet means you drop back a half-unit and bet $1 eachway. With the horse missing a place, you now increase to $1.50 eachway for the fifth bet.

If you back a winner you go back a half-unit but never below your original $1 eachway stake. If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd you repeat the bet. Should you back a loser your stake is increased by a half-unit.

You progress, regress or repeat in this way at all times, except when your investment reaches 3 units eachway (in our example $3 eachway) or more. When that happens you drop back one full unit on backing a winner. Let's say your stake had grown to $3.50 eachway: If you then backed a winner your following bet would be $2.50 eachway.

As well as pleas for eachway staking ideas, I guess the most prolific writers to me ask for help with place betting, so here's a plan which may help them.

The method calls for five columns of bets. As you win with one column you move to the next column. Should a bet lose you go back one step. If a dividend pays less than 2/1 ON the bet is repeated at the same stake. The actual progression can be changed to suit the individual.

12 162024 28
18 24 30 36 42
Opening bet is 4 units. You stay in this A column until there is a profit and then you switch straight to column B.

If the first bet is lost, the next bet would be 6 units, and if that went down the next bet would be 12 units, and the fourth 18 units. You cannot move forward a column if there is a loss on the bets.

If your first four bets all lose, you stay on 18 until a profit is shown then you can move forward to the next column. No matter how small the profit may be, you always hop to the next column to continue the betting.

Let’s say you struck a placer with your first bet in Column A and made a profit of 3 units. You would then leap to Column B and begin betting again with a 6 unit bet. If that produced a profit, you would go straight to Column C and bet 8 units. And so on. 

If you are in columns B, C, D or E, you have to use up all four bets before going back to the previous column. Then you start all over again from that column. Win or lose in Column E, you always revert back to Column A for a new series. 

Target and divisor betting is often derided but I have always thought it held out some hope for punters. Critics point to the fact that it chases losses - yet even when we bet level stakes we are chasing losses, aren't we, so there is nothing much original in that criticism. 

I know quite a few punters who feel comfortable about target betting and increasing their stakes to take account of losses and recoup them. In essence, there's not much wrong with such an approach because a winner will eventually set the world to rights again. 

Target betting can be dangerous if stakes rise too rapidly during a losing run and there is no safety brake employed to prevent bets getting out of hand. The following plan has a double brake - one is the probable price, the other is control of betting after losers. 

It is a plan you might care to think about, or discuss with your racing mates. It is a most interesting approach.


  1. The horse to be backed is your own selection at 3/1 or longer OR, if you desire to find the selection another way, the first horse listed in the tipsters' poll which is quoted at 3/1 or longer.
  2. Cross out all the scratchings from the poll, and then work downwards from the top. If the top horse is quoted at under 3/1, you move to the second horse, then to the third, and so on, until you come to the first runner which is at 3/1 or better. 
  3. THE TARGET: The opening objective is three times the race target which you have set for yourself. As an example, let's say your aim is to win 1 unit per race. We will assume a unit is $1. You start with an objective of $3. If the horse loses, the target for the next bet will be $3 plus the $1 wanted for the next race and the $1 just lost ($5 in all). 
  4. THE STAKING: As you are backing horses likely to start at 3/1 or better, the opening divisor is three. Every time you back two successive losers the divisor is increased by one. This is an important safety brake to prevent stakes shooting up too quickly.
  5. When a winner is backed, you deduct the profit from the objective, while the odds gained are deducted from the divisor, but the divisor is never reduced below two.
  6. The series ends, and a fresh one begins, when the objective (the money in the target column) is wiped out, or when a profit is shown of at least $1 for every race played.

Keep in mind that with this approach you are trying to back horses at 3/1 or longer. You can, if you wish, back them at any price but it could make the task of winning that much harder. With the 3/1 cut-off, you are limiting your bets to horses at value prices. Here’s how the rules work in a sample operation, so you are clear how to go about things: 

Opening objective $3, opening bet $1. Horse loses. Next objective is $5 (the original $3, the $1 sought for the second race, and the $1 lost). This $5 is divided by the divisor, which is three, calling for a bet of $1.67c, which is rounded to $2.

If this bet also loses, the next objective is $8. You have now backed two successive losers, so the divisor is increased by 1 to 4, so the next bet is $2. If it won at, say, 3/1, then the return would be $8, a profit of $6 on the race. At this point you would have bet a total of $5 for a return of $8, a profit of $3. This means you have earned $1 per race bet on, so the series is ended and a new one begun.

Don't forget that to end a series you have to be making that profit of at least $1 per race on which you have bet. You can change this rule if you like. You might like to quit as soon as you show any sort of profit. Okay, that's fine. The idea of these approaches is to give you the basis of forming a sensible betting strategy, an effective one, that suits your personal makeup and your betting profile.

If I have cast some seeds of hope or even doubt in your mind, then this article has served its purpose. All of us at PPM want punters to think about their betting, to bet creatively, and to bet in such a way that you are going against the flow and not sailing along merrily with it to financial destruction!

By Philip Roy